be the stone, not the puddle

Tunnel vision. Tight chest, shallow breath. A pounding and a nagging behind my eyes that makes it impossible to focus on anything else. A feeling in my stomach like the in and out of ocean waves as they reach for shore – reach, reach, reach, pull back and gain momentum.

anx·i·e·ty/aNGˈzīədē/

noun

  1. a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.

Example: My son tears through the living room and stops for a moment. Something vague is whispered about a tummy ache, barely directed at me, but my anxious mama ears perk up when I hear it. He resumes the running, barrels up the stairs and back to his precious video games. I melt into a puddle on my living room floor.

It’s hard to admit, the fear. To be a mother of small children is to be the the temp taker, the vomit cleaner, the boo-boo kisser.

To be a mother is to be the stone, not the puddle.

So what do you do when something triggers your anxiety? No one exercise will be a permanent fix, but there are ways to breathe through the moment as it unfolds. A deep breath in (1, 2, 3, 4) and a longer breath out (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8). A step outside. A jog, a cardio routine, even if it’s only ten minutes. Even if it means punching a heavy bag while the baby cries to be held, until your knuckles ache and you feel the sweat trickle down your back. Even if it means locking yourself in your closet and screaming until your voice gives out. It won’t fix everything. But it will get you through the moment. Through the wave.

Reach, reach, reach, pull back and gain momentum.

What works to get you through a tough moment?

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